March 13, 2017
Raising awareness and taking action together: Symposium sets priorities for early healthcare transitions
On February 27, families, health care providers, researchers, and experts from across the continuum of hospital and community services for neonatal/infant/complex care, joined together in a full-day symposium focused on improving early healthcare transitions for parents.
At its core, the day addressed the need for essential collaboration to co-develop priorities, jointly working together in the best interests of families - and informed by families with lived experiences that can help create a changed culture. Further, attendees across the span of lived experiences partnered in presenting the latest research to heighten awareness and improve transitions across Ontario. Research to date has included/explored:
- parents' experiences transitioning from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to community hospital which showed fear of the unknown, distressing, noticeable differences in culture of care
- parent interviews of experiences in transitioning to rehabilitation services after their child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (read BLOOM article)
- Ontario scan of transition practices and policies from neonatal follow-up to children's treatment centres which demonstrated opportunities for change, including need for increase of education on the transition process and what to expect
- Benefits of shared communication tools and care plans between healthcare providers, and being knowledgeable about each other's services and parent needs
With introduction and welcome from Marilyn Ballantyne, chief nursing executive and clinician investigator, alongside Dr. Tom Chau, vice president of research, the day kicked off with lively TED talk presentations on early transitions and a powerful parent panel led by Amir Karmali, client and family centred care specialist. Thoughtful engagement, empowered by the parent panel, led to meaningful discussions around what success felt like with effective early healthcare transitions for parents.
Dignitaries and experts from several external organizations, including the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health and the Ontario Association of Children's Rehabilitation Services, rounded out the day. Afternoon workshops dove-deep into priority setting around education, resources and support needed to translate the priority areas into action items and the key research questions we need to ask.
"When we think about transitions, we need to consider the unique needs of families and their experiences," says Ballantyne. "By working together with families and experts within and beyond our walls, we stand to make the greatest impact and ensure smoother, more integrated, and successful early transitions. Collaborations like these maximize benefits for everyone."
Learn more about Marilyn Ballantyne's research